Gabi triumphs in splendor of the Gulf Canal

Posted by on November 01, 2018  /   Posted in golf news

Gabi Ruffels, nevertheless, goes into party mode with her USC teammates in Atlanta. Photo: GOLF CHANNEL

There was a decent crowd gathered around Gabi Ruffels when she sealed the winning point for Victoria in the Interstates Series 2017 at Royal Fremantle.

But it was hardly a blip on the radar compared to the winning heroic heroines of the young Australian East Lake Cup today.

Ruffels, only eighteen, finished the winning point today for her team at the University of Southern California, broadcast in the United States on the Gulf Channel.

Although the nuances of university golf are often overlooked in Australia, it can not be denied that Ruffels was the best for American golf enthusiasts when she overturned world No.7 Andrea Lee to give her Trojans a 3-2 victory.

The East Lake Cup is already four years old and has quickly become one of the most prized trophies of college golf, with the four semi-finalists of last year's NCAA Championship on the same Atlanta Course where Tiger Woods recently won the PGA Tour Championship.

Against a Stanford women's team with individual winner of the East Lake Cup and world No. 5 Albane Valenzuela alongside Lee, the USC team started as an underdog, despite being the reigning national champion of the University of Arizona in yesterday's semi-finals reports.

With Henzuela at No. 5, Stanford played a quick start, but the young Trojans – remarkable with a freshman and four second-year students – competed back to tie the score to 2-2 with only the Ruffels game on course.

The Victorian was already 2-down early, but victories at holes nine and ten pulled her square, where the game stayed until fourth place on the 16th

From behind the green in two, Ruffels slid almost a delicate downhill chip for birdie and then watched how Lee's par-putt of 5 feet slipped in one way or another and left her 1-up.

The American, known for her consistency, found sand twice on the par-four 17th, including her second shot half buried in the greenside bunker.

Ruffles, as she did last year for Victoria against New South Wales, remained incredibly calm under pressure and stayed behind with her bird, but when Lee's explosion hit the green, the match was effectively finished.

Lee chipped well, but admitted after her ball trickled past the hole and gave Ruffels a 2 & 1 victory to end the winning run for USC.

"It feels great, I'm so glad I did it for my team," Ruffels told Golf Channel

"This victory gives us a lot of confidence, we have just made three wins in a row and I think we can go quite far, let's win in," she said enthusiastically.

Gabi Ruffels, left, celebrates winning the East Lake Cup with her USC teammates. Image: @eastlakecup

The Trojans have won remarkably six of their past 11 matches, have finished twice on runner-up and not out of the top three. They have also won three of the four editions of the East Lake Cup.

Head coach Justin Silverstein was full of praise for the ability of Ruffels to handle the big moments

"I had a conversation with our men coach, Chris Zambri, and we are big in (mental) wiring and how athletes deal with setbacks," said Silverstein.

"I told him that I think Gabi is just as good as I have ever seen and that I want to anchor her (when it came to that match) … I liked our chances."

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